Women of Wisdom is an ongoing series featuring women living their full expression and leadership best.
Today we are happy to share the wisdom of Lynn Gow, an empowering leader, and facilitator of an upcoming workshop on Who am I? Finding my Purpose through Inner Reflection.
What calls you to lead?
One of the things that excites me most is to see others gain clarity or have those moments of insight when things start to make sense to them and answers start to emerge to those basic life questions we all have: “Who am I and what am I meant to be doing?”. The truth is that we all have those answers inside ourselves.
If it’s true that what we are meant for gives us the most energy, then coming along side of others and helping them find those answers for themselves is what I’m meant to be doing.
What is the book you’ve given most as a gift, and why?
I have given many books over the years but one of the first ones that I remember really impacting my thinking and consequently my life was Road Less Travelled by Scott Peck.
It begins with “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
What about work life balance? How has that worked for you? What wisdom do you have for work life balance? or work life integration?
The first key for me is to align my work as much as possible with my values. That way, it energizes me.
I also believe that we pay attention to the things that are important to us. I always schedule uninterrupted time for the people and relationships that are important to me. When I am with them, there is no multi-tasking. They have my focus and attention.
Secondly, I use mindfulness to stay present in the moment as much as possible, and I take ‘minute vacations’ every day, where I take a minute to totally focus on something beautiful or that brings me joy. When I am totally focused in the moment, it’s amazing how one to two minute mental vacations can make a difference.
When you feel overwhelmed and the “going gets tough” what do you do?
I slow down. It sounds counter intuitive but slowing down actually helps me be more intentional and productive.
I have learned to focus on what I have control over. I take each day one at a time and focus on what I can do in that one day to move myself forward. Once I do what I can in that day, I let it go and do something to take care or nurture myself. I try not to worry about tomorrow, but deal with that when it gets here.
Sometimes things are tough for awhile and can’t be fixed quickly. Self-care becomes critical during tough times. I am fortunate because I have a strong personal and professional support system that I have developed over the years. I have invested in those relationships and they support me through tough times.
What advice would you give a young emerging woman leader? mid career leader? Women leaders?
Young leader – Try everything, experiment, explore, discover what you love and don’t assume you don’t like something or can’t do something before you try. Seek out mentors. Look for women you admire or would like to learn from and ask them questions.
Mid-Career Leader – Develop a community of like-minded leaders. Never feel that you must do it on your own. Decide who you are as a leader, what gifts do you bring that are uniquely yours. Look for opportunities inside and outside of your job to express yourself as a leader. Develop your brand.
About Lynn Gow
Lynn is a graduate of the Women In Leadership For Life & Edwards School of Business Empowering Women Leaders Program and a past participant in WILL’s “Radical Self Care Workshop”. Born and raised in New Brunswick, she worked as a social worker for 18 years. In 2000, she made a career transition to work in IT, and moved to Victoria, BC and is now in Saskatoon, SK. Her focus in IT has been project management, organizational change management, coaching, and leadership.
Lynn’s retreat on “Who Am I? Finding My Purpose through Inner Reflection”, comes from her deep experience. Through both careers, Lynn’s focus has been on empowering people. The key to productive workplaces, as well as a person’s peace of mind ultimately comes down to the same thing: people knowing who they are, and living an authentic life in line with their core values.
Who Am I? Finding My Purpose through Inner Reflection
Queen’s House Retreat & Renewal Centre
Friday, Feb. 16, 6:30-9 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
‘Who Am I?’ is a time to stop, reflect and look inside yourself with a new lens. You will be given a framework to use in your journey of self-discovery. Knowing our-selves, our core values helps to focus us on where we need to be spending our energy to become the women we were created to be. The time together will include meditation, journaling, creative exercises and sharing with other women committed to their own growth and development. Explore a little deeper in a safe place. Experience curiosity about yourself, who you are and what you are meant to be doing. Learn more Who am I? Finding my Purpose retreat
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